AP Art History: Prehistoric Era Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Wall Painting With Horses, Rhinoceroses, and Aurochs
Location: Chauvet Cave, France
Era: 30,000-28,000 B.C.E.—Upper Paleolithic; Medium: Paint on limestone
Description: An assortment of animals painted on the cave wall, positioning is very close to each other, animals have varying scale.
Location: Hohlenstein-Stadel, Germany
Era: 30,000-26,000 B.C.E.—Upper Paleolithic
Medium: Mammoth Ivory
Description: Half lion anterior, half human posterior. Detailed figurine, seems to portray a god-like being with defining characteristics. By combining the strength associated with the lion and the sophistication of humans.
Woman From Willendorf
Location: Austria
Era: 24,000 B.C.E.—Upper Paleolithic
Medium: Limestone
Description: Woman whose reproductive organs in particular are exaggerated. head is covered by a pattern of bumps on her entire head. Could be a headdress of some sort.
Relief Sculpture
method where the surrounding material is carved away, forming a background that sets off the figure. produced in stone, bone, and ivory.
Woman From Ostrava Petrkovice
Location: Czech Republic
Era: 23,000 B.C.E.—Upper Paleolithic
Medium: Hematite
Description: Youthful sculpture carved from hematite. Depicts an athletic figure that seems as if she paused in an animated pose. One hip is slightly raised and a knee bent is if she were walking.
Woman From Brassempouy
Location: Grotte du Pape, Brassempouy, Landes, France
Era: probably 30,000 B.C.E.—Upper Paleolithic
Medium: Ivory
Description: Head of a woman with some distinguishing facial features: a defined brow line and a nose. Square pattering runs all over her hair which could either represent her hair or a headdress.
Abstract Art
the reduction of shapes and appearances to basic yet recognizable forms that are not intended to be exact replications of nature.
Twisted Perspective
a convention of representation in which part of a figure is shown in profile and another part of the same figure is shown frontally (a composite view)
Hall of Bulls
Location: Lascaux Cave, Dordogne, France
Era: 15,000 B.C.E.—Upper Paleolithic period
Medium: Paint on limestone
Description: Ceiling cave paintings of bulls depicted in a twisted perspective where the horns, eyes, nose, and hooves are seen in a frontal perspective, but the rest of the creature is in profile.
Bird-Headed Man With Bison
Location: Lascaux Cave, Dordogne, France
Era: 15,000 B.C.E.—Upper Paleolithic period
Medium: Paint on limestone
Description: Scene of man with a birds head lying down with a bison looming above him. Bison seems to have an arrow in its posterior and an near the bird-headed man is what is most likely an atlatl. A wooly rhinoceros seems to be fleeing the scene.
Location: Altamira, Spain
Era: 12,500 B.C.E.—Upper Paleolithic period
Medium: Paint on limestone
Description: Herd of bison painted on the ceiling protrusions using red and brown ochers. High relief sculpture where the figure extends well forward from its background. Same emphasis on bulky features anterior such as shoulders.
Location: Le Tuc d'Audoubert
Era: 13,000 B.C.E.—Upper Paleolithic period
Medium: Unbaked clay
Description: Clay bison modeled in clay on the cave floor. There is much detail in the figures body shape, attention to the hunched area behind the neck. Attention is also brought to facial features such as the nose, eyes, horns, ears, mouth, and its wooly coat.
Lamp with Ibex Design
Location: La Mouthe Cave, Dordogne, France
Era: 15,000-13,000 B.C.E.—Upper Paleolithic period
Medium: Engraved stone
Description: Circular rock with Ibex head engraved in the rock. The horns extend and curl, following the roundness of the rock
People and Animals
Location: Cogul, Lérida, Spain
Era: 4,000-2,000 B.C.E.—Neolithic period
Medium: Paint on shallow rock-shelter walls
Description: Supposedly several women standing next to each other. Nearby, large animals are seen, some of them leaping forward in a flying gallop, where the legs are fully extended.
Horse and Sun Chariot
Location: Trundholm, Denmark
Era: 1,800-1,600 B.C.E.—Bronze Age
Medium: Bronze
Description: A horse figure is attached to a carriage that carries a disk representing the sun. Could have possibly been used in rituals honoring the coming and going of the sun, which is seemed to be controlled by this horse-drawn carriage.
Location: Denmark
Era: 3,000-2,000 B.C.E.—Neolithic period
Medium: Ceramic
pottery fragments, which are key in dating sites and reconstructing human living and trading patterns
includes all baked-clay wares except porcelain, which is most refined product of ceramic technology
baked-clay wares that display a high level of technical skill and aesthetic imagination
Woman and Man
Location: Cernavoda, Romania
Era: 3,500 B.C.E.—Neolithic period
Medium: Ceramic
Description: Ceramics of a woman and man, both sitting. The woman sits poised with her hands on her knee which is pulled back and the other leg stretched out. The man sits ona a stool with his elbows on his knees, looking as if he is pondering. There is no certainty as to their original function.
Location: Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire England
Era: 2,750-1,500 B.C.E.—Neolithic Period
Medium: Mixed media
Description: Megalithic architecture in the form of a ceremonial construction that serves as a kind of solar calender, this would aid farmers by informing them on how to plan their harvest accordingly.
Mortise-and-tenon joints
Joints made by a conical projection at the top of upright stones that fits like a peg into a hole in a lintel
Pairs of upright stones topped by lintels
A gray sandstone incorporated in the design of the stonehenge where several surround the center of the structure
a circle of stones or posts, often surrounded by a ditch with built-up embankments
Simplest type of megalithic tomb, which are built on the post-and-lintel principle. They are formed of upright stones supporting one or more capstones
Table-like rocks that are commonly used in megalithic architecture, they are placed flat on top of 2 or more upright stones
An artificial hill made up of small rocks and dirt. These hills were generally mounded over megalithic tombs
Megalithic Architecture
Structures which comprised of massive stones during the Neolithic period. Tombs and other important ceremonial structures were built with this style, which required a massive amount of strategic planning and strength.
Corbel Vault
The meeting area of inward-sloping walls that were built by stacking stones on top of each other, found in standard neolithic housing
Layers of flat stones without mortar, which form walls with each layer projecting slightly inward over the one below.
Post-and-Lintel Construction
The most basic method of creating space, where two posts or tall structures support a horizontal or wide element.
Skara Brae
Location: Orkney Islands, Scotland
Era: 3,100-2,600 B.C.E.—Neolithic period
Medium: Mixed media
Description: Cluster of dwellings linked by covered passageways. Houses have a square plan with rounded corners.
Plant material such as reeds or straw tied over a framework of poles.
Wattle and Daub
Branches woven in a basket-like pattern, then covered with mud or clay.
A long horizontal beam against which slanting roof poles were braced in houses and which is supported by a row of posts down the center of standard, rectangular, Neolithic dwellings.
Woman of Lespugue
Location: Lespugue cave, Pyrenées, France
Era: 23,000 B.C.E.—Paleolithic period
Medium: Mammoth Ivory
Description: sculpture of a woman whose buttocks is greatly exaggerated.
Location: Dordogne, France
Era: 13,000 B.C.E.—Paleolithic period
Medium: Reindeer Antler
Description: A bison carved in great detail, showing strokes of its coat around the neck and bulky anterior is emphasized. Other ornamental subtleties design the head of the bison.
Woman of Laussel
Location: Dordogne, France
Era: Paleolithic period
Medium: Limestone
Description: Relief sculpture of nude female figure painted in red ochre holding a horn in her right hand. Exaggerated breasts and vulva.
A series of menhirs placed in a specific pattern across a landscape
Stacked stones
Massive vertical stones
Location: Cosquer cave, France
Era: 16,500 B.C.E.—Paleolithic period
Medium: Charcoal and Manganese dioxide on limestone
Description: Drawing of an auk, a penguin-like bird.
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